Master Marine Inc., Bayou La Batre, Ala., recently completed a 40’×16’×7’ pilot line crew-tug (PLCT) for the Valero Aruba Refining Co. N.V. The steel-hulled GUTU (named for a fish that lives in the waters of Aruba, an island in the Caribbean) was specifically designed by Master Marine as a custom-built, multiuse tug capable of handling the many responsibilities of Valero’s operations in Aruba.
“This boat is a Master Marine original designed to fill a niche that the bigger tugs can’t,” said Steve Roppoli, the yard’s vice president of sales. “It serves well in shallow and deep water because of its unique hull.”
When used as a pilot boat, the GUTU shuttles the San Nicolas Harbor pilots between one and three miles offshore. As a line handler, the tug pulls mooring lines from the largest vessels calling at the facility. As a tug, the GUTU can assist vessels up to 400’, and as a crewboat, the tug can facilitate crew changes, haul supplies, and assist in inspections off the coast of San Nicolas. “This boat can turn 360 degrees — turn in her own length,” said Roppoli.
The tug’s main propulsion comes from twin Caterpillar C-7 electronic diesels, producing 275 hp at 2,400 rpm each. The mains connect to Rice 32”×19” 4-bladed, manganese/bronze wheels through Twin Disc MG-5075 marine gears with 4.5:1 reduction ratios.
The propulsion package gives the GUTU a running speed of 10.5 knots.
The vessel was fitted with a Hydradyne Hydraulics mobile, dual 5-hp electro-hydraulic steering system and Twin Disc EC600 controls.
Tankage includes 1,000 gals. of diesel fuel.
Ship’s service power comes from a Caterpillar 2.2 diesel enclosed in a sound box, striking 21kw of electricity at 1,800 rpm.
There are accommodations for 11 crew and passengers.
The electronics package is from E&R Marine Electronics and includes an ICOM VHF and Furuno GPS, digital depth sounder, and loudhailer.
GUTU went to work in Aruba in mid-May. — K. Hocke